The Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions (ACASA) Project is a partnership among the provincial governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, and regional stakeholders including nonprofits, tribal governments, and industry. ACASA applied for and received a grant from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to build a collaborative effort to address regional climate change impacts. The partnership set goals and developed over 20 local projects to build the region’s capacity and resilience to climate change.
Atlantic Canadian Provincial governments met in May 2008 in New Brunswick to discuss a partnership approach to addressing adaptation in the region and develop a strategy for regional adaptation efforts. The provinces of Atlantic Canada have vast coastlines which are already being affected by climate change-related effects, including storms of increased intensity and frequency, flooding, erosion, and saltwater intrusion.
The ACASA partnership will increase the region’s resilience to climate impacts by increasing organizational capacity and coordination of planning and management, improving information used in planning by initiating targeted research and monitoring plans to track impacts, and supporting improved natural resource management that includes future conditions.
In 2008, NRCan announced a federal funding initiative, the Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC), to support regional collaboration on adaptation efforts. The three-year, $30 million grant intiative was created to support six regional adaptation collaboratives and catalyze coordinated and sustained regional adaptation planning. The RACs are charged with addressing climate change impacts affecting the region, focusing on those impacts addressed in From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate, a research report produced by NRCan.
At a May 2008 meeting, the provincial governments created the Atlantic Canada Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, which addressed the major climate concerns for the region, distinct action priorities, and an accountability/governance structure for the partnership. The information hammered out in the spring meetings laid the foundation for the Atlantic provincial governments’ letter of interest to NRCan’s RAC grant initiative in the fall of 2008. The Atlantic Provinces and their partners submitted a full proposal, which was accepted in September 2009. The project is expected to conclude in 2012.
The ACASA RAC has laid out a number of tasks and deliverables to achieve the goals of the project. Challenges arise from the enormous size of the project and number of partners and moving pieced involved. While the number of partners and complexity of communication and coordination between those partners present problems, this program will greatly advance the region’s adaptation efforts.
ACASA laid out a number of tasks, outcomes, and deliverables to help partners integrate adaptation into their work and become more prepared for climate change. The partnership will create over 25 community adaptation projects across the Atlantic Provinces. The community adaptation projects will be supported by ACASA and will used as model projects for future regional efforts. Some of these projects include risk and vulnerability assessments related to infrastructure, sea level rise and erosion, groundwater quality and quantity, inland flooding, and surface and wastewater.
Examples of expected deliverables include:
- Model adaptation by-laws for municipalities;
- Recommended adaptation options related to emergency services, land use planning, and infrastructure design; and
- A community toolkit/workbook, including:
- Overview of tools available to communities
- Community vulnerability assessments
- Regional climate information
- Case studies
- Background material to help communities with decision making
The region will also have gained invaluable information to help in future adaptation efforts such as improved environmental models (flood, groundwater), LiDAR data, and extensive vulnerability information for the region. The funding provided by the RAC grant will allow the provincial governments of the partnership to prepare and integrate future climate conditions into management and other processes to become more resilient to global climate change.
Hitt, J. (2010). Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions (ACASA) [Case study on a project of the New Brunswick Department of Environment, Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry, Nova Scotia Environment, and Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/atlantic-climate-adaptation-solutions… (Last updated December 2010)